Christoval Cougars Look To Carry 2016 Momentum Into 2017
CHRISTOVAL, TX — Following an 8-2 record and playoff berth in 2016, Christoval Head Coach Casey Otho and the Cougars are hungry for more in 2017. That feast, however, may get put on hold during the early part of the season for a Christoval team that graduated seven starters on each side of the ball.
"The momentum is going to build by itself just because of the kids we've got," Otho said. "Some of these guys didn't get a lot of playing time last year and they're pretty hungry."
Two younger guys mentioned by Coach Otho, who will now start offensively for the Cougars, are a pair of seniors in quarterback/linebacker Seth Wilkins and wide receiver/defensive back Justin Palmer. "They could have started on offense last year," Otho said. "It was just one of those deals where the guys ahead of them were seniors."
Wilkins, unlike many 2A quarterbacks, brings prototypical size and speed to the field at six-foot tall, 185 pounds. He seems to have the mental makeup to be a successful quarterback in 2017 for the Cougars. Palmer, despite being undersized, can also be a big playmaker on the outside with his speed to beat defensive backs downfield. These two could be the difference between a district 3-2A Division 1 title or a second place finish.
The Cougars' offensive line will also play a factor into where the Cougars finish. Seniors Jake Wike and Diego Salinas return in 2017. Wike's leadership will be big in solidifying the linemen making the jump from junior varsity a year ago. "[Wike and Salinas] are really the only two starters we got back," Otho said. "With Jake's leadership, and Diego occupying one of the tackle spots, we'll do just fine."
As for defense, fans should expect a similar look to the squad a year ago that allowed an average of 11 points against per game with five shutouts. There may not be five shutouts to Christoval's credit at the end of this year, but the tenacity shown by last year's squad will be ever present in 2017. Christoval goes 8-2 in the regular season this year, 2-2 in district 3-2A Division 1.
The Cougars will open up the 2017 away at Irion County on September 1st at 7:30 p.m.